February 9 2018: Occupational and Environmental Health (OEH) Seminars- Jonathan Patz

Occupational and Environmental Seminar Series

Friday February 9 2018


School of Population and Public Health Building

Room B151



Mitigating climate change: greatest public health opportunity of the 21st Century?


The global climate crisis poses large risks to public health through many exposure pathways, from heat waves and air pollution, to malnutrition, infectious diseases and social dislocation.  At the same time, confronting the cause of climate change —reducing greenhouse gas emissions — offers benefits to health, especially by reducing chronic diseases.  Current energy-intensive lifestyles run counter to health promotion; an estimated seven million deaths occur from air pollution, and five million deaths stem from sedentary lifestyles each year; these are caused, respectively, by burning fossil fuels and by urban transportation plans that are optimized for cars rather than people. Mitigating greenhouse gas emissions provides extensive health opportunities, as well as major savings in healthcare costs and worker productivity. This plenary talk will review climate-health risks, as well as health co-benefit studies of climate change policies that show how a low-carbon society may represent the largest public health opportunity of our times.


Click link below for his recent book publication:

Climate Change and Public Health




Jonathan Patz

Jonathan Patz, MD, M.P.H., (@jonathanpatz) is director of the Global Health Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a professor and the John P. Holton Chair in Health and the Environment with appointments in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and the Department of Population Health Sciences. For 15 years, Patz served as a lead author for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (or IPCC)—the organization that shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore. He also co-­chaired the health expert panel of the U.S. National Assessment on Climate Change, a report mandated by the U.S. Congress.

Patz is committed to connecting colleagues from across campus and communities around the world to improve health for all and is continually striving to integrate his research into teaching for students and communication to policy makers and the general public.

Patz has written over 90 peer­‐reviewed scientific papers, a textbook addressing the health effects of global environmental change and co‐edited the five­‐volume Encyclopedia of Environmental Health (2011). He, most recently, co-edited “Climate Change and Public Health” (2015, Oxford University Press) and is leading a Massive Open Online Course “Climate Change Policy and Public Health.”

He has been invited to brief both houses of Congress and has served on several scientific committees of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Patz served as Founding President of the International Association for Ecology and Health.

In addition to directing the university-­wide Global Health Institute, Patz has faculty appointments in the Nelson Institute, Center for Sustainability & the Global Environment (SAGE) and the Department of Population Health Sciences. He also directs the NSF-­‐sponsored Certificate on Humans and the Global Environment (CHANGE).

Patz is double board-­certified, earning medical boards in both Occupational/Environmental Medicine and Family Medicine and received his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University (1987) and his Master of Public Health degree (1992) from Johns Hopkins University.





Photo Credit: Elaine Smith from flickr/ Creative Commons